Talking Tactics | Coventry City v Swansea City

17th December 2022
First team
Bristol City away Harry Darling

Swansea City are looking to end their six-game winless run when they take on Coventry this weekend, and are on hand to preview the action. Here, they take a look at what to expect from Coventry, the key battle and a key stat.

What to expect from Coventry

Coventry manager Mark Robins wears club coat while watching his team

Coventry City endured a stop-start beginning to the season as a number of their games were postponed due to issues with the playing surface at the CBS Arena, and this certainly impacted their opening weeks of the campaign as they failed to win their opening seven league games of 2022-23.

However, ahead of the World Cup break, they began to pick up some form, and have won seven of their last 10 league matches. Granted, they lost their first game back following the hiatus, falling to a 1-0 loss at Reading last week, but the improvement in form has seen the Sky Blues rise to 15th, and they have two games in hand on those around them.

Such is the compact nature of the Championship table, if Coventry do win those two games in hand they could rise as high as fourth.

Like a number of Championship teams, Swansea included, Coventry do favour a three-man backline, maximising the use of wing-backs to hurt opponents, particularly down the left flank.

Some 39 per cent of their attacks are focused down the left, and this has seen them develop a statistically calculated style of play of 'attacking down the left', with former Swans man Jake Bidwell proving key in that approach.

Bidwell does rank second for accurate crosses per 90 (0.7) of all Coventry players, so shutting down this approach to goal will go some way to aiding the visitors' cause.

Swansea will also need to be wary of the counter-attacking threat Coventry carry. At the time of writing, no team has scored more counter-attacking goals than the west Midlands side (4) to reinforce a statistically calculated strength of 'counter attacks'.

Given Swansea do look to dominate possession, we may well see Coventry sit in deep and wait for their chance to strike, which means Swansea should see plenty of the ball as they look to end their six-game winless run.

Key battle

Close up of Gyokeres celebrating a goal for Coventry City

Viktor Gyokeres was only on the books for a short period at Swansea, and he made 11 appearances during his loan spell, nine of which were off the bench.

But, having since established himself as a key man for Coventry, the Swede has proven a goal machine. Indeed, no player has scored more goals than Gyokeres (9) in the Championship this season; he is level with nine other players in the race for the Golden Boot.

Harry Darling is likely to be the man tasked with ensuring Gyokeres is unable to add to his nine goals this season, and the 23-year-old hasn't relied on home comforts to impress for Russell Martin's side.

Four of Darling's five best-rated performances in a Championship match this season have come away from home, so he'll feel confident of putting in another impressive showing and hopefully helping his side return to winning ways.

Key stat

CBS Arena

Five of Coventry's eight league wins this term have come on home turf, and they have won their last three on the trot in front of their own fans.

That being said, their record against Swansea is poor. The Swans won this game last season, and are in fact unbeaten in 10 Championship games against the Sky Blues, winning six of those.